A Physics Career in the Semiconductor Equipment Industry

Event Date: 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Physics Colloquium - Refreshments served at 3:40

Speaker:

Dr. Robert Danen, KLA-Tencor

Abstract:
I will present my career in technology development and innovation, with an emphasis on my work at KLA-Tencor Corporation, and why this work is well suited to the training and interests of physicists. KLA-Tencor manufactures process control equipment for the semiconductor, data storage, LED and related nanoelectronics industries. This talk will concentrate on KLA-Tencor's product designed to inspect patterned semiconductor wafers and the technologies required to enable it. Current wafer processing technologies can create circuit patterns with feature sizes as small as ~20nm. The challenge for wafer inspection instruments, which currently operate at a wavelength of 260nm and longer, is to detect pattern defects with lateral sizes as small as ~10nm. This talk will include general discussion of the interaction of light with wafer patterns composed of a combination of semiconductor, metal and dielectric materials. I will give examples of technological innovations needed to detect wafer pattern defects, including microscopy techniques at deep-ultraviolet wavelengths. I will also discuss the importance of strong analytical and experimental skills for technology development.

Biography:
Robert Danen is a Principal Research Scientist in the Wafer Inspection Technology Group at KLA-Tencor. KLA-Tencor is the market leader in process control equipment for the semiconductor, data storage, LED and related nanoelectronics industries. Robert received a B.A. (1988) in Physics from UC Berkeley and a M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1997) in Physics from UCSB. At UCSB Robert worked in Carl Gwin's lab where he focused on mid-infrared observations of young stellar objects. After graduate
school, Robert worked at the University of Pennsylvania and two medical diagnostic start-up companies in Philadelphia on visible and near-infrared in-vivo imaging. After that Robert joined KLA-Tencor.